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Russell details Mercedes role in helping F1 avoid tragedy

The Brackley-based team is at the forefront of helping the sport progress.

George Russell has revealed the role Mercedes is playing in shaping the future of safety in F1. The German manufacturer is involved in the design process for the new attachable wheel covers that are under development and were subjected to testing after the British Grand Prix. The covers are designed to limit the amount of spray that is kicked up by the wet tyres and the sheer downforce of the current F1 machinery, with the trial coming as a result of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix washout and last year's Japanese Grand Prix delays. There, drivers waited two hours to be able to run due to visibility concerns, yet were able to switch to Intermediate tyres almost immediately after the restart to provide a confusing outlook for supporters. "This all came about following Japan last year and the spray and visibility, that is the biggest problem for us," Grand Prix Drivers' Association director Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com . "If you're driving around a track on your own, there's no big problem with the wet tyres we have got, but it is when you have 20 cars in a row. "I remember in the Japanese race last year, half the drivers weren't even flat out in the straights because you couldn't see 50 metres in front of you."

The inaugural test of the covers came weeks after the tragic death of 18-year-old Dilano van t' Hoff at the Spa-Francorchamps round in FRECA, which was held in treacherous conditions. "Obviously, a tragedy what happened at Spa and that was, in my opinion, all down to the spray and visibility," added Russell. "Mercedes, we are helping design these potential mudguards that will hopefully reduce the spray. "It's not going to take a short time to be able to get on top and understand exactly what the effect is and how quickly we can implement something, but there's so many factors at play. "Even some of the tarmac, some of the more open, aggressive tarmac, the water sits in and with the diffusers, it sprays up all the water and make things even worse. "I am proud that as a team, we are involved in helping shape the future of safety for the sport."

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